How to

How To Paint A Dragon & Castle Silhouette


Learn the step-by-step process of painting a dragon flying in a mystical full moon sky. This beginner’s acrylic on canvas tutorial is suitable for anyone, regardless of their artistic experience.

Supplies You’ll Need

To complete this painting, gather the following supplies:

  • Acrylic paint in dioxazine purple, titanium white, primary yellow, cadmium orange hue, and mars black
  • Canvas (11″ x 14″ recommended)
  • Assorted brushes, including 3/4″ flat brush, #12 flat brush, #4 round brush, and 10/0 liner brush
  • Toothbrush for splattering stars
  • White paint pen for adding details

Color Palette

The color palette for this painting consists of dioxazine purple, titanium white, primary yellow, cadmium orange hue, and mars black. These colors will be used to create the sky, moon, silhouettes, mountains, and clouds.

Step-by-Step Directions:

1. Trace a circle onto a blank canvas

Using a round object with a diameter of approximately 6.75″, position it about an inch offset from the top and far right. Trace the circle with a pencil.

2. Paint the sky

  • Use a 3/4″ flat brush and titanium white to paint a ring around the moon. Ensure the area stays wet for blending.
  • Dip the corner of the brush in dioxazine purple and drag it on the palette to mix the colors. Paint next to the white ring, allowing the purple to blend with the white. Gradually darken the sky as you move towards the edges of the canvas.
  • Continue painting in circles, reloading the brush with more purple for intensity. Avoid mixing white with purple as you reach the far left to maintain a darker shade.

3. Paint the moon

  • Use a #12 flat brush and the colors cadmium orange hue, primary yellow, and titanium white.
  • Load the brush with cadmium orange hue and outline the bottom area of the moon.
  • Without rinsing the brush, load it with primary yellow and blend it with the orange using short strokes.
  • Gradually blend yellow towards the top to create a smooth transition from orange to yellow.
  • Load the brush with titanium white and continue blending it with the yellow, creating a lighter shade towards the top.
  • Emphasize the moon’s texture by using short strokes in various directions.

4. Paint stars

  • Use a toothbrush to splatter white paint for tiny stars. Practice the technique beforehand to ensure the right consistency of paint.
  • Dip the toothbrush in water, pat it dry, and then dip it in white paint. Flick the brush to create small specks resembling stars.
  • For larger stars, use a white paint pen to paint clusters of dots, asterisks, and diamond shapes.

5. Paint the mountains

  • Mix light gray on the palette by combining titanium white and a small amount of mars black.
  • Use a 3/4″ flat brush to paint a wavy line representing the first layer of mountains. Fill in the area.
  • Mix a medium gray by adding more black to the white mixture. Paint a second layer of mountains below the first layer.
  • For the bottom layer, use pure mars black paint. Don’t worry about the castle’s location as it will be added later with the traceable.

6. Trace or draw the dragons and castle onto the canvas

  • If using a traceable, position it on the canvas, overlapping the moon. Place a sheet of gray graphite paper below the dragon (shiny side down) and trace the drawing to transfer it.
  • If not using a traceable, draw the dragons and castle on a separate paper first, ensuring optimal placement and sizing.

7. Paint the silhouettes with mars black

  • Fill larger areas with a #4 round brush and tiny areas with a 10/0 liner brush. Use a black paint pen for finer details, such as flags and dragons.
  • Add highlights using a white paint pen: paint white lines on one side of the castle and create highlights on the dragon’s head, body, and wings.

8. Add more details with a white paint pen

  • Use the white paint pen to paint larger stars, such as clusters of dots, asterisks, and diamond shapes.
  • Add highlights to the castle, dragon, and other areas, enhancing their details.

9. Paint the clouds

  • Use a large round brush with dry bristles (slightly loaded with titanium white) to paint fluffy clouds in circular strokes.
  • Add touches of dioxazine purple to the clouds, creating depth and dimension.
  • Repeat the cloud painting technique for additional clouds around the canvas.


Sign your artwork and proudly showcase your dragon and castle silhouette painting. Share your masterpiece on social media, tagging the artist if you’d like them to see it. Enjoy the process and let your creativity soar!

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Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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